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Department of Education

Kelley Solomon, Ed.D., Chair


Teacher Certification Program

The mission of the Education Department at Waynesburg University is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession. Department programs reflect teacher candidate competencies established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) professional practice standards. The program graduate will:

  • understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and design and implement developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences
  • use understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards
  • work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation
  • understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and create learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content
  • understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues
  • understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making
  • plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context
  • understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways
  • engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession

Admission to the Education Department and Admission to Student Teaching

Students seeking admission into Waynesburg University’s teacher preparation programs (Pennsylvania State Certification) may, upon admission to the University, declare Early Childhood Education PreK-4; Elementary/Middle Level Education 4-8; Special Education PreK-12; or Secondary Education 7-12 as their certification area.  Early Childhood Education PreK-4 majors may elect a curriculum track that provides an additional certification in special education PreK-8. Middle level and secondary education certification candidates may opt for an additional certification in special education via a five year, dual degree and dual certification program.

Students must apply for formal admission into the Education Department during the second semester of the sophomore year or no later than the semester that the student will accumulate 60 credit hours on transcript. Admission applications are reviewed by the faculty; admission decisions are made at the end of the sophomore year or at the end of the semester when 60 credits are recorded on transcript. Consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Education mandates, formal admission to the Education Department will not occur until students have met the following criteria:

  • Satisfactory FBI Federal Criminal History Record Clearance (Fingerprint)
  • Satisfactory Pennsylvania General Assembly Act 34 Pennsylvania Criminal Record Clearance
  • Satisfactory Pennsylvania General Assembly Act 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse Record Clearance
  • TB Tine Test Negative Results
  • Minimum of 48 hours of approved course work listed on transcript
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA with a grade of C or higher in Education Department courses
  • Six credits of college math on transcript
  • Three credits of English composition and three credits of English literature on transcript
  • Active membership in Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (SPSEA)
  • Satisfactory completion of basic skills assessment requirements as specified in Pennsylvania General Assembly Act 168 of 2014; currently either the Pennsylvania Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) or the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educator Tests meets the requirements for the basic skills assessment
  • Basic skills requirement may be met based on SAT or ACT scores; this option must be discussed with the Department Chair
  • Formal application including an essay

Admission to the student teaching semester requires the following additional criteria:

  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Formal application

Transfer credits

Credit is granted by transfer in a manner consistent with University policy. Admission to Education Department teacher preparation programs will be considered on an individual basis for each transfer student. Transfer students must take and pass the Act 168 basic skills assessment prior to program entry/transfer if they have more than 60 credits on transcript and/or have taken professional core courses.

Academic Progression

Students with 60 credits on transcript must meet all Education Department formal admission requirements as listed above before progressing to the fall semester of the junior year and to each succeeding semester. All education courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Students may repeat an education course only once. Students must meet all prerequisites listed in the course description before taking that course.

If extenuating circumstances exist, a student who is denied department admission and/or progression may appeal the decision to the department chair and to the provost. This appeal must be in writing and must specify the extenuating circumstances and include documentation of the basis of the appeal. Neither the department chair nor the provost can waive the Pennsylvania Department of Education certification basic skills testing requirements.

Dismissal from the Education Department

If the Education Department faculty finds that a student does not meet standards considered necessary for successful performance as a professional educator, the student will be dismissed. These standards include, but are not limited to, level of achievement, emotional stability, professional disposition, physical health, and personal conduct.

Field Experience Requirements

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires that individuals enrolled in teacher certification preparation programs participate in developmental field experiences as well as student teaching. The field experience is a mandated component and an integral part of multiple courses within the Waynesburg University ECE, ECE/SPE, MLE, and SED teacher certification programs. Field experience activities begin in the freshman year and continue through the senior year; students will need access to transportation to travel to field experience locations. Students who fail to complete mandated field experiences in a course will be given a maximum final grade of C- in the course and will be required to repeat the course.

Placements for field experiences are arranged by the University Field Placement Coordinator.

Program Completion and Teacher Certification

Completion of degree requirements and eligibility for teacher certification are integrated, separate activities. Upon the successful completion of the requirements of the major program of study, a student will be awarded a degree from Waynesburg University. Upon successful completion of degree requirements including the student teaching experience and successful completion of the state-mandated PRAXIS II Subject Assessments and/or Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) for a given certification area, the Waynesburg University graduate will be eligible to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for teacher certification.

Expenses—Education Majors

Additional personal costs to be incurred by students will include required health examinations, diagnostic TB tests, FBI fingerprinting, state-mandated criminal and child abuse record clearances, transportation costs to and from field placement sites beginning the freshman year, annual membership in SPSEA which includes professional liability insurance for the student, state-mandated assessments for both admission to the program and certification and Pennsylvania teacher certification application fees.

Waynesburg University Title II Program Disclosure

Information is posted on the Waynesburg University Education web site.

Major Requirements and General Education Requirements

In addition to completing the following required courses, students must fulfill the General Education requirements for Waynesburg University as listed in this catalog. In the ECE, ECE/SPE, and MLE major programs, general education requirements are embedded within the curriculum requirements. Major requirements and/or General Education requirements may be changed by the official action of the faculty and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.